After a brief respite, American actress Meghan Markle is once more making headlines, only I can’t really glean a discernible reason why. It may have something to do with the fact that the new season of her television show, Suits, is premiering soon, but then again, it’s hard to see the connection between that and when an astrologer predicts an engagement between her and her boyfriend, Prince Harry, will be forthcoming (yes, that is a real article).
Also – and I mean this without any disrespect – when was the last time Suits was driving this kind of international media coverage?
So, we are left, of course, with Meghan and Harry’s relationship. In the last few days there has been so much speculative coverage that you would think Pippa Middleton was getting married again, but no. There is literally nothing new going on, save the fact that it was a slow week before the Spanish royal visit. More to the point, we are less than a month out from August 4th, the date put forth a few months ago as when the Palace would likely announce an engagement.
Now, of course, we have a few options. Harry’s recent Newsweek profile suggested that it would be a slightly longer timeline – maybe by the end of the year, but nothing was definite. Whereas, royal reporter Katie Nicholl, who cut her teeth on covering Kate back in her Middleton days and therefore knows this game very, very well, reports that an announcement is likely before September 15, as Harry wants this wrapped up by his 33rd birthday.
Nicholl’s article runs in a special feature of the Mail on Sunday – of which hard copies should be available starting today – called “Harry & Meghan: A Modern Royal Romance.”
The online version of the story ran alongside another one detailing how Meghan’s first marriage fell apart because it was long-distance and too difficult to make up for that five-hour time difference…details I assume were included to call attention to the distance between Toronto and London.
And all of this takes for granted that an engagement will take place, a detail of which we actually can’t be sure. I will grant you that Harry seems to be more serious about this relationship than he has about any of his previous ones, but 1) seems hardly makes it fact and 2) this is also the first high-profile relationship he’s conducted in his 30s, so there could be myriad reasons for that.
As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of this pairing and I think Meghan would make an excellent addition to the British Royal Family, so I’m all for this becoming official, but as of right now everyone is trading off the word of unnamed sources. And while there is some reporting I trust more than others – Nicholl’s, for example – we should also be taking all of this with a very large grain of salt.
With that said, a few other details uncovered in Nicholl’s article:
- Meghan has no need for a security pass to come and go from Kensington Palace given how familiar security is with her presence now.
- She keeps a wardrobe of clothes in Harry’s home of Nottingham Cottage and a shelf full of organic cookbooks.
- A friend of his is quoted as saying, “Harry has found the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He is fuelling all the talk about the future.”
You can also read Nicholl’s personal take on the relationship’s potential here (tl;dr, she’s a fan.)
As for concrete information, Meghan arrived back in Toronto last Thursday, July 6 after a 10-day stay in London.
Like I mentioned above, some of this uptick in media coverage comes from the fact that the latest season of Suits is due to premier in the U.S. this week, which makes for a unique twist that, for example, William and Kate never had to deal with in their own relationship. Not only does Meghan maintain a public career, but one that relies on publicity. Were Meghan dating a famous actor and garnering tabloid attention, no one would think twice about the show using that – and her – to their advantage. However, because the boyfriend in question is Harry, well, it’s a delicate balancing act.
Meghan obviously can’t answer questions about her relationship during press interviews, but the show can feature her more prominently in ads. For example, I’ve seen a few banner ads pop up for the show featuring Meghan front and center and it’s always a bit jarring, particularly given that Suits, while successful, wasn’t exactly a show driving a ton of buzz a year ago.
Her character on the show, apparently, recently had an engagement and wedding-related story line, which has left us with countless photos of Meghan in a wedding gown and articles trying to glean details as to what Meghan is like in real life compared to the character she is playing, which. is. ridiculous. And I’m not even going to touch the hay they’ve made over previous sex scenes.
So, has anything news-worthy happened recently? No, but this amount of speculation should be expected through at least September in light of the arbitrary dates we’ve been given as milestones. It reminds me a bit of Kate’s 25th birthday back in January 2007 when royal reporters were confident William was going to pop the question. She was swarmed by paparazzi that morning when she left her home to go to work and it followed several months of media coverage that grew increasingly intense in preparation.
William and Kate would eventually go on a brief hiatus that spring thanks to the pressure, and it will be interesting to see how Harry and Meghan handle this. They’re both considerably older than William and Kate were, so the question remains, if this reaches fever pitch, will Harry make it official or will it strain the relationship? Then again, maybe it will just be time for another strongly-worded KP press release.